Mark SCOTTOW was baptized this day, 1854, in Runton, Norfolk. In August 1917 Mark SCOTTER was “killed by enemy submarine”.
The origins of surnames are often fancifully explained on websites that hope to sell you parchments but I found one today that suggested SCOTTOW derived from a village of that name in Mark’s birth county. It also pointed out that there was a village in Lincolnshire called SCOTTER.
Ancestry has re-designed the surname distribution maps it freely provides online.
Taken at face value, this map shows a Norfolk heartland and zero Scotters in Lincolnshire, so if one accepts the morphing of Mark’s surname in his lifetime, the Scottow theory looks good.
Mark was part of the Norfolk Scottow/Scotter diaspora to the Yorkshire coast and the above map doesn’t register the seven Scotter families in Filey in 1891. If you read the small print, though, you will see that Yorkshire has 42% of Scotter families in England and Wales in that census year. We need a more accurate map.
SCOTTOW is ranked =206 in Filey surnames with 23 males and 6 females.
SCOTTER is ranked =25 with 93 males and 85 females.
These are “unique individuals” in Kath’s Filey Genealogy & Connections database, not people counted several times in census returns.
I counted the birth registrations in the districts containing Scottow, Norfolk and Scotter, Lincolnshire in three decades, 1851-60, 1871-80 and 1901-1910, and in Scarborough Registration District.
There were no Scottows or Scotters registered in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire over those 30 years.
Thirteen Scottow births were registered in Erpingham, Norfolk in the first decade and none in the last. There was one Scottow birth in Scarborough between 1851 and 1860 and three in the last decade.
For Scotter the count for the three decades in Erpingham was 5, 8 and 4.
For Scarborough, it was 4, 23 and 22.
This is a rather sketchy statistical analysis but it seems to confirm the growing acceptance of Scotter over the “original” Scottow – and the migration of Norfolk fisher families to the Yorkshire coast.
In 2011, David Scotter wrote three articles about the diaspora for Looking at Filey. You can learn more about Mark here.